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“Shimmering British pop-rock portrays emotional reflection”
Despite former bandmate Daniel Blumberg’s departure, Yuck have decided to carry on and create a sophomore album of true merit. Guitarist Max Bloom has taken over the majority of the vocals with help from the group’s female bassist Mariko Doi. Drummer Jonny Rogoff continues to play, and newcomer Ed Hayes has been recruited on secondary guitar.
“Sunrise in Maple Shade” sets a mood as an instrumental with twirling guitar lines and sunshiny keyboards, complemented by horns that come in after two minutes. “Out of Time” and “Lose My Breath” bring moodiness with low, main vocals and high, spooky backing vocals. The lead single “Middle Sea” has some of the clearest vocals on the LP matched with fuzzed-out guitars and a driving rhythm fit for dancing or car riding.
Keyboards and electronics create wonderful surprises throughout, like pans and beats underneath tracks that aren’t evident until other instruments strip away. “Rebirth” ends with a bouncy keyboard rhythm similar to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” underneath heavy drumming. At other times, the album is full of dream pop-inspired soft singing that alternates with creative instrumentation, such as on “Nothing New,” which starts out keyboard-driven then evolves into Western-style guitar and Mexican-style horns, and “How Does It Feel,” which introduces slide guitar to give the music a nice change of pace.